Truthful Efforts

Our team continued to work on researching and planning the magazine.  We met Wednesday morning, Nov. 10, at 9 a.m. to select an idea for each of us to work on before our next meeting.  Don would do an article on possible changes in manners resulting from new products designed with nanotechnology, Lauren would do a fashion spread, and I would do an automobile advertisement.

We met again at Borders in Buckhead Saturday, Nov. 13, at 11 a.m.  I had sent the copy for the “autonomobile” advertisement to Lauren the night before, as well as copies of four automobile advertisements that had recently appeared in Vogue magazine, and she created a beautiful layout in the same visual idiom as the current advertisements. 

The “autonomobile” is a concept car envisioned by the industrial design team Mike and Maaike.  It is a vehicle without a driver’s seat because in their vision of an improved life of the future, no one would have to actually drive a car.  Instead the car would drive itself, and the passengers could all enjoy the view through large glass doors on the sides.  The car would have conversationally grouped seating, a table, a bar, and a video screen for communication and navigation.  These cars would be able to communicate with each other, so that during commutes groups of them could form swarms to facilitate getting to their destination more efficiently.  We thought that color-changing nano paint would be a standard feature on these cars.  It has already been developed by Nissan but has not yet appeared on the market.

Saturday morning we continued to work, researching images from fashion publications to help with visioning.  During the meeting I drafted some copy for the fashion spread of Luli Fama swimwear.  The draft emulated the style and tone of some copy from a fashion spread in the current issue of Vogue that I had on hand, and incorporated fashion-oriented narrative that situated the wearer of the nanotech-fabric swimsuits in a festive and fun atmosphere. 

The next day Don made some significant improvements in the copy for the fashion spread, placing more emphasis on the nanotech capabilities of the fabrics.  Because our magazine is called Techstyle, this made a lot of sense.  Don also finished the copy for his article, and Lauren made yet another beautiful layout with good typography.

We presented our work to the class for critique on Monday, Nov. 15.  Our work was very well received.  People liked the humor in the catch phrase, “Global Swarming,” for the autonomobile.  There was a comment that we may need to work a little more on anchoring the images in the advertisement, but overall everything we did made a favorable impression.

We met again on Sunday evening, Nov. 21, to work out plans for the next stage.  Discussion centered around the next article idea, which would be about whether professional couriers who wear video screens in their clothing would be overly objectified.  Lauren showed us how to make a wrap-around image in Photoshop.  We decided that I would work on two more advertisements, one on pantyhose and one on hair dye as they might be different with nanotechnology.  And Lauren would work on a fashion ensemble spread with accessories.

On Tuesday morning Don introduced Lauren and me to Prof. James Meindl, director of nanotechnology initiatives in microcircuitry at Georgia Tech.  He explained the history of semiconductor circuitry, culminating with the contemporary situation in which the capabilities of silicon chips have nearly been optimized to the point that no further improvements in speed or storage capacity can be made.  The next step is to move into other semiconductor materials such as graphene, a single layer of carbon molecules arranged in hexagonal cells, which exhibits the potential for better thermal conductivity, better electrical conductivity, and a higher strength to weight ratio than silicon chips.   

Then on Wednesday morning Lauren and I visited Dr. Ioanna Skountzou, an immunologist at Emory University who developed the H1N1 vaccine, to discuss her work with Georgia Tech Prof. Mark Prausnitz to develop superior vaccines using microneedles made of a special water-soluble polymer.  The vaccines they are developing actually incorporate the lyophilized killed virus into the polymer.  When the microneedles are applied, the polymer dissolves into the skin, and because the vaccine is part of the polymer molecule, it passes more slowly through the openings between cells in the skin.  This way it is taken up by accessory cells that then migrate to the lymph nodes.  This slower uptake of the vaccine results in a more effective immune response, with less vaccine required to produce it.  Further, these vaccines will have a much longer shelf life, making it possible to send vaccine all over the world, even to countries without significant refrigeration, to be administered in a painless way that does not require a medical professional.  The significant improvement in world health that can result seems to me to be a cornerstone for a new global ideal of beauty that we can document in Techstyles.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I produced some copy for the pantyhose advertisement.  Much research went into the production of those three paragraphs!  Nylon is an important fiber for some nanotechnology applications that are being produced today.  The applications of carbon nanotubes and the use of zinc oxide were studied in detail, and the substance used for getting rid of spider veins is a real botanical extract being sold today for that purpose.  And to get the right feel for a L’eggs advertisement, I looked at many old commercials on YouTube, found some old magazine ads, and just recollected my childhood in Burlington, North Carolina, where pantyhose were invented.  Who knows, maybe my ideas will come to fruition some day . . .